BYU Law: We Stay as Far Away From Campus as Possible

In fact, our building’s on the other side of the street, thank you. Provo is strange. I thought I’d let that hang in the air for a minute. In case that sweeping statement sounds somewhat arbitrary, let me remind you that I’ve lived in the Amazon Rainforest (motto: grow it really big, and hope it doesn’t eat you); I’ve worked in the highlands of Guatemala (motto: always carry heavy things on your head and a machete in your hand, just in case); I’ve backpacked through Europe (motto: …it smells like a rat, it looks like a rat…yep. It’s a rat); and I grew up with Timmy and Mikee Vogeler (motto: um…OK, we never had a motto). I know strange. But even with all that to look back on and compare with, Provo (motto: Date to Mate…It’s Not too Late!) makes the jungles seem, well, rather tame. One day at the “Cougareat” (motto: put lots of young Mormons together, shake, and watch them go!) I felt like eating Italian. After ordering a pepperoni calzone, the counter girl asked me if I’d like sauce on top of my calzone. Innocently, I said “I’d like some sauce, but could you put it on the side?” Apparently, a request like that in Provo borders somewhere north of Springville and just south of a marriage proposal. With starry-eyed glee, the sauce girl cooed “Sure, I can put that on the side for you. In fact, I can do lots of things, like give you a phone number….” Now, Grandma Vogeler didn’t raise me to respond to something like that. In fact, were she there, Grandma Vogeler would have muttered something in Norwegian about tact or lutefisk, or both. To be honest, I was tempted to as well. But, with my mind reeling and alarms going off in my head blurting “DANGER! NO WIN SITUATION!” the only thing I could think to say was “That’s fine, I’ll just have the sauce, thanks.” In my defense, I haven’t gone back since. I spend the majority of my days at the law school. Since my arrival, I’ve been treated to such advanced lectures as "Food, Water, and don't forget…Shelter!" and even "Spelling: What you Needed to Know, But Didn't Learn in Kindergarten." Because of these classes, I have learned that the letters J&D mean much more to the world than B&A, presumably because J&D come later in the alphabet. J&D command about a billion dollars per hour, where B&A only command smirks. Unsurprisingly, this monetary differential seems to be a somewhat motivating factor for both law students and female undergrads. One day, while wearing my law school sweatshirt on campus, I experienced the latter when a lovely young lady introduced herself, batted her eyelashes at me, and somewhere in the distance the words “Earning Potential” echoed softly on the breeze. On most days in Provo, though, I’m tempted to gently whisper my response: “Pro-Bono.”


What happened in October? Good Question

I realized this past month that "free time" is a concept that does not exist. While we may claim that we utilize the time unoccupied by other "important" things, even those hours that we use as "free" time may merely constitute discretionary time. This is the time we choose to either sit on a couch and watch football or sit on someone else's couch and watch football. (Or "The Office" or "Heroes," whichever may be more exciting/on at the time our discretionary time begins.) However, like the term "free agency," I would contend that nothing we do with our time is free from the consequences of our actions. For example, last week I took a nap in the early afternoon. While at the time, I felt my activity was free, it was only discretionary as I lay in bed until about 2:00 am trying to get to sleep. Definitely not free. Also, a couple of weeks ago, I tried to put off writing a paper (worth 80% of my grade) until late Sunday night. At about 4:00am Monday morning, I realized that all the discretionary time I had used in the weekend to "party" "meet girls" and "relax" definitely wasn't free. In fact, it came at a great price. With this in mind, I'd like to now comment that nothing may be more distracting, disgusting and irritating than chewing with your mouth open. Thank you, that is all. Eric